As we all navigate through life, there are a multitude of distractions that can gain our attention and lead us away from things that are truly important. It may be material greed, vanity, status or just plain pride. As we get distracted, we tend to take other things or people for granted. Let’s highlight 5 that your are likely taking for granted.
- Your family. While everyone’s situation is unique, for the sake of argument, let’s assume you have a core immediate family that has been there since day 1. Parents, siblings, grandparents etc. Maybe when you were old enough to have some independence, you screwed and never looked back. You do not prioritize seeing them, spending quality time with them and aside from occasional calls, really doing anything to acknowledge their place in your life. Big mistake. Every family has its share of issues and surely some are bigger than others but, when things go wrong, like REALLY wrong, they are going to be the ones there for you. Not your job. Not your boss. Maybe not even your casual significant other or even your friends. Your family is your lifeblood, your get out of jail free card, your safety net. And despite the fact they may have been around forever, they will not always. As you age, you begin to encounter loss and unfortunately, your family is not immune from this.
- Your health. When you look in the mirror, are you fixated on your 3 pack instead of a 6 pack? Or, do you smoke a pack a day and laugh at anyone who implores you to give up the habit as you feel fantastic? Health can be fleeting. Sometimes we contribute to it but sometimes, it just happens. If you are worried more about your looks than your health or, you are not doing anything to improve your health, you are taking something for granted that you could lose any day. The stories are countless of this happening. You should enjoy your health, be thankful for your health. Show this gratitude by doing what you can to be healthy. Show it by being physical and doing things that push your body. Do not take your physical well-being for granted as it is never guaranteed.
- Your friends. This is probably one of the tougher things on the list to rectify. Life moves fast and even when you have people that have been your ride or die friends for decades, they can quickly become distant memories of a life that has moved on. As we grow older, responsibilities and lifestyles evolve. We get spouses, kids, careers. The list can go on. Often we no longer prioritize keeping in contact with those who were there for us through a vast majority of our teenage and young adult lives. How many of you can honestly say you still keep in touch with 100% of your wedding party? If you do, awesome but from our experience, it’s probably unlikely. Make the time for those friends that truly matter and have shown that they care. A group dinner every few months. A phone call here and there. It seems so impossible that contact could cease but we have experienced it. A month turns into 6 and 6 months turns into 5 years without seeing each other very easily. It’s normal to move on from parts of your life but, some parts are worth putting effort into.
- Your significant other. The grass is always greener as they say, right? As society has found itself more and more embedded into an online world of instant gratification, influencers and beautiful people, this has become more of a problem. A date is a swipe away. Hardcore porn that makes your father’s Playboys look like Sear’s catalogs (maybe we are dating ourselves) a Google search away. The ability to compare your significant other to millions of influencers, an app away. The emotional bonds and trust that used to be the foundation of relationships are being demeaned and in their place, an emphasis on vanity and instant satisfaction. Something takes work? Screw it. Move on to the next thing. Someone has a flaw (everyone does by the way), not acceptable because you can find a thousand people in your vicinity willing to go out with you just based on a couple pics (probably with filters attached). If you have someone who truly knows all of you and who has stuck with you through the good and the bad, understand the value of that. Do not always look for something better or something more. Often, your comparing them to things that are far from real and just skin deep. Stop taking those closest to you for granted.
- Your mental health. Do not underestimate the value of your mental health. We wake up everyday and we do what needs to be done to get through our lives. We work, we take care of the kids, we power through workouts, we smile when we feel like crying and then we repeat it all the next day. Are you taking the time to work on yourself? To focus a bit on what YOU need? It all adds up and your life is only as healthy as your mind. Do not fool yourself into thinking that you can power through it with no repercussions. Your mental wellness is relative to every aspect of your life and if you neglect it, you will suffer. Your job, your close friends and family, your performance. All of it will be impacted. Do not mistake your ability to move forward despite not focusing on your mind as a lifetime solution. Taking your mental health for granted will impact the rest of this list and the rest of your life.